Call for Chinese stroke research

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am

Neurologists have urged more research specific to Chinese stroke patients after it was revealed that Chinese and Caucasians suffer these devastating events in different ways.

Neurologist Yannie Soo Oi-yan of the department of medicine and therapeutics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said yesterday that while most of the stroked suffered by Caucasians were the result of a blood-vessel blockage in the neck, Chinese were more likely to suffer that blockage in blood vessels in the brain.

'This could be due to genetics,' Dr Soo said.

Most research today focuses on Caucasians, and thus on blockages outside the brain.

Strokes fall into two categories, those caused by blockages of blood vessels and those caused by a blood vessel bursting.

Blocked blood vessels result in less blood reaching the brain and that part of the brain dying from a lack of oxygen.

Dr Soo said further studies within the Chinese population would be helpful in further improving patient care to prevent disability and death in the local population.

In studies carried out on 343 stroke patients admitted to hospital between June 2000 and December 2003, the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that 52 per cent of them had blockages in the brain.

The study also found that half the patients who had blocked vessels inside the head also had blocked vessels elsewhere in the body.

Those patients with blockages both inside the brain and elsewhere had a higher risk of recurring strokes and death.

Various factors that contributed to a patient's likelihood of experiencing a stroke included advancing age, a disruption to the amount of lipids in the blood and having had a previous stroke.

Silent killer

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the world

The mortality rate for strokes in Hong Kong 9.4%